Hello everyone, this is Anthony. Ronald and I made it to Pekanbaru safe and sound, and after a stopover at the WWF headquarters in the city, set off to the Subayang field base with Febri, our scientist and some other members of the team. The drive took us into the night and we eventually got to the end of the road in a small village on the Subayang River. The longboat journey took us into almost complete darkness, with only dim torch light from the driver as he approached the bends, and flashes of lightning in the distance silhouetting the silent grandeur of the rainforest. Once at Subayang base our camp helpers, who were eager to help us on shore, greeted us. We made our way up the path and saw the magnificent wooden building. We laid out our beds and mosquito nets in the large communal living room upstairs. The house is as much a part of nature than anywhere I could think of or have been before. When the generator falls silent, the rainforest you can hear the noise and excitement of the local inhabitants, from the high pitched din of the insects to the distant howls of the gibbons. It took a while, but eventually the room seemed to cool down and gradually everyone went off to sleep.
There’s a week to go and plenty of work for us to perpare for your arrival on Sunday. Having spent the last few days here, I can say for myself that I need not have brought the extra pullovers as it’s so warm and humid, but am glad I’ve both my walking boots and rubber boots for the different terrains we’ve covered so far. We’re working hard to have everything ready for the arrival of group 1 and are looking forward to meeting you at the Tune Hotel (now actually called Red Planet Hotel) assembly point next Sunday at 08:00.
So as we prepare at this end, please can you do some more preparation too. In addition to studying the dossier, have a look at the “Methods & equipment” playlist. The bits that are relevant to the expedition are GPS, compass & map, Garmin etrex 20, PBLs, camera trapping, binoculars, Hennessy Hammock (for those of you wanting to use those), matchete use, and the methodology from the previous diary entry. Enjoy!